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Old 10-02-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
Brent Mattis
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Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

Steve had a great idea with the Paleokits [sfw]... but sadly I'm broke! Necessity being the mother of invention I started making my own.

I started with a cheap $20 wal-mart electronic balance I bought when I started zoning.

Then I bought turkey jerky, dried cherries, dried cranberries and jalapeno smokehouse almonds. I bought a ziplock pump system. $4 dollar vacuum sealer. You can't beat that:
http://*******/143H1i [wfs]

I made my first batch with 2 blocks of protein, 1 block of carbs, and 6 blocks of fat.

My first batch:
http://*******/d99Xl [wfs]

My first batch was great... but the cost of the jerky was killing me. It was $6 dollars for a 3 ounce bag, which, plus the cost of dried fruit and almonds worked out to almost $3.5 per paleo pack...Steve's kits are only $3. That just wouldn't do.

So I went to chowhound and found the basis for a delicious turkey jerky recipe.[wfs]

Then I took a pound of boneless skinless turkey cutlets ($4 dollars), pre-froze them for an hour and thin sliced it with my ceramic futureknife[wfs].

I got hungry and stirfried 4 ounces of it for lunch... but the rest I marinated for 24 hours in the spicy mixture. [wfs]. The only change to the recipe I made was upping the huy fong chili garlic sauce, and adding thai green curry paste and some minced ginger.

Next day I did the open door trick at 170F...

jerky after about 4 hrs:
http://*******/4O6P4 [wfs]

jerky after about 5.5 hrs:
http://*******/1ZmS1Z[wfs]

I taste tested it... NOM NOM NOM!

From 12 ounces of meat ($3) I got 5.5 ounces of jerky, which translates to a cost of about 54 cents per ounce... meaning that I can make homemade paleopacks for about a buck. (Why yes, I do clean and reuse my Ziplock Vacuum bags )

Paleo pack version 3.0, I'll buy my turkey in bulk to get a better price, and I'll look into other cheaper sources of fruit goodness than dried cherries.

Brent

PS If you call SC Johnson Wax and say you had a hard time finding their vacuum pump, they'll give you a coupon good for free box of vacuum bags... ask me how I learned that one...
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Last edited by Brent Mattis : 10-02-2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:24 AM   #2
Arthur Breitman
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

I suggest getting a dehydrator for $40. It will be much easier to do the jerky and you can also do the dry fruits. Fruits can be bought quite cheaply in bulk and you'll find value pack promotion for large portions of meat. I think this would reduce your costs and give you more control... you can experiment with different fruits... dried raspberries, blueberries, blackberries... oh my.

Oh and I'd also add some home made honey glazed almonds (just rub almonds with some caramelized honey in a hot pan)... I think it'd bring a better taste balance than the jalapeņo smoked almonds.

Make sure you cut the dry jerky into smaller pieces, it's much easier to eat from the bag, otherwise you spend time eating a bit of meat, eating fruits etc, instead of blending the tastes in your mouth.

Oh yeah, and dried cilantro leafs may or may not taste good, try and report!

Last edited by Arthur Breitman : 10-03-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
Brent Mattis
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Breitman View Post
I suggest getting a dehydrator for $40. It will be much easier to do the jerky and you can also do the dry fruits. Fruits can be bought quite cheaply in bulk and you'll find value pack promotion for large portions of meat. I think this would reduce your costs and give you more control... you can experiment with different fruits... dried raspberries, blueberries, blackberries... oh my.

Oh and I'd also add some home made honey glazed almonds (just rub almonds with some caramelized honey in a hot pan)... I think it'd bring a better taste balance than the jalapeņo smoked almonds.

Make sure you cut the dry jerky into smaller pieces, it's much easier to eat from the bag, otherwise you spend time eating a bit of meat, eating fruits etc, instead of blending the tastes in your mouth.

Oh yeah, and dried cilantro leafs may or may not taste good, try and report!
I like what you're saying here...

The main reason I'd like to switch to drying my own fruit, aside from the cost issue, is the sugar issue...every dried fruit (i've seen) besides raisins and cranberries has added sugar, which is a paleo no-no.

I'd like to experiment with roasting my own almonds... I had an experiment last year involving lime and chipotle but it didn't quite work out... maybe I'll have to try something else this time. Honey glazing is good, but not worth the carbs IMHO... i REALLY liked the jalapeno smokehouse flavor.

There are pro's and con's to jerky piece size. Thicker pieces are chewer, thinner pieces cook faster, bigger pieces are bigger, smaller pieces are more labor to cut, flip, and handle. I think this size was a good compromise, each cutlet required only one cut on each of the sagittal, transverse, and coronal planes.
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
Tom Seryak
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

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Originally Posted by Brent Mattis View Post
I like what you're saying here...

The main reason I'd like to switch to drying my own fruit, aside from the cost issue, is the sugar issue...every dried fruit (i've seen) besides raisins and cranberries has added sugar, which is a paleo no-no.

I'd like to experiment with roasting my own almonds... I had an experiment last year involving lime and chipotle but it didn't quite work out... maybe I'll have to try something else this time. Honey glazing is good, but not worth the carbs IMHO... i REALLY liked the jalapeno smokehouse flavor.

There are pro's and con's to jerky piece size. Thicker pieces are chewer, thinner pieces cook faster, bigger pieces are bigger, smaller pieces are more labor to cut, flip, and handle. I think this size was a good compromise, each cutlet required only one cut on each of the sagittal, transverse, and coronal planes.
If you have Trader Joe's, their dried fruit typically doesn't have added sugar. 16 oz bag of dried granny smith for around $4.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
Katie Hull
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

try roasting the almonds in the oven with cinnamon - yummy
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:03 PM   #6
Sean Reyes
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

what katie said, coat the almonds with some pam, dash them with cinnamon, throw in oven, perfecto.

I like this post, great ideas...never considered doing something like this to set out all the snacks for the week.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:38 PM   #7
Tom Reyes
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

Brent,
been doing it since May, works awesome.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #8
Emily Maisannes
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

I finally succumbed and bought a dehydrator. I don't like all the other junk that goes into store bought jerky and I know I can make it for less than what I can buy it for.

I travel A LOT and always end up eating a lot of food I shouldn't be putting in my body. I mean, my choices are poo, poo, or poo covered in poo. I try to scrape as much of the poo off the poo as I can, but I'm still left with the poo underneath. If I bring 3 of my own paleo kits with me, I won't suffer the same temptation. And I can take it as a carry on since it's solid.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:08 PM   #9
Tom Reyes
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

2 best purchases I made when going paleo was the dehydrator and vacuum sealer. The $$$ they charge for jerky and whatnot is practically criminal.
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Old 10-03-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
Brent Mattis
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Re: Anyone else cheap enough to make their own Paleo packs?

My two favorites are my ceramic futureknife (on sale at TJ Maxx for $19.99) and my $4 vacuum pump. Sometimes I choose what I'm going to eat based on what I could cut with a ceramic knife...
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